Workshops and other online support

Skills for Success continue to support you in your studies. We deliver online workshops helping you to improve a variety of academic skills. Our workshops are open to all students.

Visit CareerHub for the full list of workshops and to book on to the sessions. If you are interested in a specific type of workshop then you can search for keywords such as ‘essay’ 'Excel' or ‘referencing’, or filter the type of event to Academic Skills Workshop.

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Writing skills workshops

Writing well: academic style

Knowing how to write at university and what is expected of you can feel confusing. This session will help you with both practical ways of improving your writing and help you think about the principles and questions that underpin the idea of academic style.

In your own words: using reading in your writing

This workshop looks at how you can engage with difficult academic texts and use them in your own writing.  As well as discussing the practicalities of how you paraphrase, summarise and quote from sources, we will also think about how to engage critically with texts, and how reading relates to writing.

Structuring an essay

Writing university essays can be challenging.  In this workshop, we will look at how to generate and organise ideas, how different types of assignment question can suggest different structures, and how to translate that into your academic writing.

Structure of research papers in the sciences and social sciences

Research papers can seem intimidating - daunting both to read and to write. But information in a lot of research articles is actually organised in a fairly standard way. This workshop will explain the main components of the ‘Science Paper Format’ (SPF) used in the sciences and for quantitative-based research in the social sciences. By understanding these key elements, you will see that SPF writing allows researchers to communicate their study findings effectively and allows readers to locate the information they want. It will help you read academic articles quickly and efficiently and show you how to structure a well-organised research report yourself.

Shut up and write

Do you struggle with procrastination, or find it difficult to get down to writing your assignments? This workshop is facilitated by an experienced tutor and is for students who want a distraction-free space to focus on writing. Using a variation of the Pomodoro Technique, you will be given blocks of time in a peaceful environment, where you will be asked to switch off mobile phones and wifi/internet access and encouraged to get down to work. In the regular breaks, you can ask the workshop facilitator any writing-related questions you may have, whether they're about grammar, structure, whether something makes sense, or overcoming writer's block.  And tea and coffee will be provided, along with some snacks to keep your energy up. All students need to bring their own laptop or device to write with, and other than that, there is nothing you need to do, except exactly what the title says - shut up and write.

Analysing essay questions

One of the most common complaints from lecturers is that their students have not answered the question – and if you want to avoid making that mistake, the key first step is to understand what the question is asking you to do. In this session we will look at analysing and unpacking assignment instructions so that you can see what is expected from you with different types of question and make sure you are approaching your writing in the right way.

Research and referencing skills workshops

Finding resources

Improve the quality of your assignments by learning where to search for suitable resources. Find out more about different types of resource (reference, primary and secondary sources, library databases, open access) and where to look for them.

Referencing made easy

How to reference properly is something that causes students a lot of stress – but it doesn’t need to be difficult.  This interactive session will introduce you to referencing and why it is important when writing your assignments.  You will also learn what to reference, how to construct your references, and where to go for help and support.

Search tips and strategies

Do you find it challenging to find enough information for your assignments? Perhaps you find it difficult to find relevant information amongst the huge number of search returns. This session will equip you with the tips and techniques you need to make your reaches relevant and manageable.

Evaluating resources

Improve the quality of your assignments by learning what kind of resources are appropriate to use in your work, and how to evaluate the usefulness of potential sources, including open access material.

Developing a research proposal

This session is intended to encourage thought and discussion about the dissertation research proposal. We will focus on a range of factors to be considered, from practicalities to potential problems, attempting to begin with your own stage of progress and your understanding of research proposal requirements.

Study skills workshops

Time management 

Provides hints and tips on how to manage your studies without over-stressing. This is a very practical workshop, delivered by someone who knows just how difficult it is to fit everything in and meet deadlines. Come along and learn how to do it – and relax and enjoy!

Returning to study

Are you a student who is returning to study after a long break or perhaps entering the academic world for the first time? This workshop will encourage you to think about what it means to be a student and how to get the most out of academic study. It will help you to thrive in an academic environment and signpost where you can get additional support to help you along the way.

University lectures

To get the best from your lectures, it is not enough to turn-up and listen - you also need to prepare, take effective notes and have a review and revision strategy in place that works for you. This session will present some well-tested strategies for lecture research, note-taking and review. The workshop will be task-based; you need to come (with a note pad and pen!) prepared to try out different approaches to find out what suits your learning style best. We’ll be looking at ways to work with a lecture study partner too – so persuade a classmate along, if you can.

Effective reading notes

In this workshop we will discuss why and how we make notes from our reading. We will consider the benefits of making notes, such as avoiding plagiarism, saving time and helping our understanding of text. We will go on to consider the merits of a variety of note-making techniques.

Critical reading

Reading at university is not just about understanding what a text says. In this session, we will look at how to critically engage with your reading, and how to develop the skills that will help you get the most out of your studies – and the best marks.

Evidencing critical thinking

Critical thinking is at the heart of every academic discipline, and whilst it can sound like a daunting term, it is something that you are already familiar with from your everyday life. In this session we will look at how to make sure you are approaching your studies critically, and how you can develop your existing skills and practices.

Presentation skills

Do you want to be able to communicate more effectively when you give oral presentations? Would you like some practical advice about how to make the experience of speaking to an audience less stressful? This workshop will offer useful tips which can boost your confidence and clarity when you speak in public.

Digital skills workshops


Improve your skills on Excel by learning more about conditional formatting, pivot tables, functions and shortcuts. These workshops will ensure your spreadsheets are more efficient and productive.


Discover how to use Word's built-in features that work to automatically format your document for you. This is especially useful when dealing with long, complex documents, and working to tight deadlines. Topics covered include: styles; automatic table of contents; multi-level lists; page breaks vs section breaks; headers and footers; arranging tabular data; and working with images.


Find out how to use the automatic features in Outlook to help organise your workload and save precious time. Find out how to use the automatic features in Outlook to help organise your workload and save precious time.


EndNote is the University’s free, recommended and supported reference management tool. EndNote will save you valuable time by removing the manual labour associated with creating and formatting references. You can now access the fully-featured desktop software and manage your EndNote library from multiple computers including your personal device. 

Additional help

If you would like to request a specific workshop, please complete the request a workshop form (.docx).

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Need help?

If you need any further help and advice, please contact or visit the Student Services Hub who will be happy to assist you.